Dishy Campaign Book Describes How Crist Overplayed Hand With McCain

McCain and Crist on the campaign trail in West Palm Beach.
McCain and Crist on the campaign trail in West Palm Beach.
Flickr: lowraine

It's hard to fathom, but some dishy new campaign tell-all book casts Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as a treacherous, ruthlessly self-interested politician looking to sell his endorsement in the 2008 presidential campaign to whatever Republican promised to pay him the most political capital in return.

Yup, that sounds like our Charlie.

The Buzz has excerpts from the book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Apparently, Crist had led both the Rudy Giuliani campaign and the John McCain campaign into believing they had his endorsement. He leaned in the direction of whatever candidate was polling best, all the while looking for what that candidate could deliver in return for Crist's endorsement.


One excerpt from the book:

Jim Greer, (Crist's) handpicked Florida state party chairman, started actively exploring what the governor could receive in return for his endorsement, suggesting to Giuliani directly that a "right of first refusal" on the VP slot might do the trick. The Charlie Bazaar was open for business.

As the Florida Republican primary drew near, Crist reportedly told both campaigns he was going to stay neutral -- only to reverse that position as well, endorsing McCain shortly before Republicans went to the polls.

However grateful McCain may have been, the lasting memory may have been Crist's treachery. In August 2008, as the old soldier mulled over his Veep pick, he must have asked himself, "Do I want to be in a foxhole with Charlie Crist?"

And as we all know now his answer was, "No, I want to be in a foxhole with Sarah Palin."


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